Steve Jobs, the film about the man, doesn’t go out of its way to reinvent your perception of Jobs, played by Michael Fassbender and a pair of contacts. Aaron Sorkin’s fantastic script lends the late Apple CEO more nuance than black and white photos of turtlenecks, but you’ll likely find that your opinion of Jobs before the movie, whether you idolize him or roll your eyes as him, won’t be radically shifted over the film’s two hour run time.
If you found Steve Jobs pretentious, director Danny Boyle’s film will offer you no shortage of “Kanye West on Twitter” level fodder for that particular opinion. If you consider Steve Jobs to be a visionary there will be no shortage of quotable one liners and monologues for you. Whatever your thoughts on the man, the film will likely mirror them.
So why even bother watching a movie that’s only gonna show you evidence of what you already think?
Because there’s a shark in it.
And because where the film Steve Jobs might not change the way you think of the man, it has the potential to drastically change how you think of the biopic.
Like the best biopics Steve Jobs reigns itself in, limiting its scope to a specific set of events rather than shoehorning an entire lifetime into a feature film of child actors, greatest hits and knowing winks. The script is brilliant in its simple structure, a distinct three acts set in the moments before three major product launches. Around that elegant structure the performers are consistently engaging, delivering Sorkin’s characteristically dizzying dialogue with a kinetic sense of urgency. Through it all Daniel Pemberton’s score and Alwin H. Küchler’s cinematography make fourteen years from 1984 to 1998 feel like the future.
But beyond being an extremely well made film Steve Jobs is unlike any other biopic in that its very form honors its namesake subject by upholding his impeccable scrutiny for aesthetic. The movie is sleek and stylish and functional, at once substantive and simple.
Steve Jobs is the biopic at its finest – and that’s coming from a viewer with no love for the genre. Every facet of the film feels as though it were influenced by Jobs.
Steve Jobs doesn’t excel at reshaping public perception of its subject, it excels at presenting information in a meticulously endearing format that you want to touch and interact with.
If Steve Jobs the man were an MP3, Steve Jobs the film would be the iPod.